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WHITPAIN TOWNSHIP v. BODINE (02/13/53)

February 13, 1953

WHITPAIN TOWNSHIP
v.
BODINE, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 45, Jan. T., 1953, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, June T., 1951, in Equity, No. 18, in case of Township of Whitpain v. Charles A. Bodine and Anna G. Bodine. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Samuel H. High, Jr., with him High, Swartz, Childs & Roberts, for appellants.

Federico F. Mauck, with him Wm. Perry Manning, Jr., and Wright, Mauck, Hawes & Spencer, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Arnold

[ 372 Pa. Page 509]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

This is an appeal from the decree of the court below

[ 372 Pa. Page 510]

    enjoining defendant's use of his land as a "piggery."

Under authority given by The Second Class Township Law of 1933, P.L. 103, as amended, 53 PS ยง 19093-2001, et seq., plaintiff-township passed a zoning ordinance, effective June 7, 1950, providing that: "No piggeries... will be permitted within the residential districts of this township."

Defendant, a resident of New Jersey, owns approximately 67 acres of land in the township, which land the ordinance placed within the highest classification for residential purposes. He raised pigs on the land from the time of its purchase in 1923 until 1945, when he removed his pigs and rented the land to one Love. The defendant testified that Love raised some pigs, but how many or whether for commercial purposes was not shown. In 1948, the land was rented to one Cavanaugh, but there was nothing to show that he raised pigs, and the defendant himself testified: "I don't known if he [Cavanaugh] kept any over in the winter. I thought he kept some in the barn in the winter time." And, when asked again whether there were pigs on the land from 1948 until December of 1950, defendant answered: "I can't say." Cavanaugh left, and defendant retook possession in December, 1950.

Before defendant started operations he was advised in writing that they could be in violation of the ordinance, but he operated nevertheless.

There are on the land a farmhouse, which is rented as a dwelling; a garage-apartment in which the defendant's caretaker resides; a barn, cow shed, pigpens and runs. Livestock consists of some chickens and ducks, 2 steers and 2 horses. Some grains are raised on the lands, most of which, if not all, are used as feed for the pigs. This ...


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